My beautiful books :3

The Driftwood book is fantastic.

It’s 37 mm fat with all its 392 pages.

I originally wanted to print it on even thicker paper (150 g Munken Print White 15, instead of 115 g), but my printer said they couldn’t do it (for a reason not specified). Maybe with the thicker paper it would have been 5-6 cm thick? :3
So I suppose it’s just as well that I had it printed on 115 g paper in the end. There are no problems with the pages shining through on the other side anyways – something I was very worried about after my earlier test prints with the inferior Lulu books.

They are printed with digital printing, and the lineart looks really nice and deep black.

Yeah …

As I’ve observed at all the festivals so far where I’ve had these books for sale, the Flotsam and Jetsam book totally steals the show!

There’s just something about the cover illustration, I guess. (Here I’ve written about how it came to be.) Maybe if I print a second edition of the books I should switch the covers?!

It’s a bit frustrating that people almost always pick up Flotsam first, and then open it and probably think, “Oh, it’s not a comic”, and put it back and walk away without ever looking at the Driftwood book. I try to place it in an eyecatching but less pick-up-encouraging spot on the table (there’s a whole science in table arrangement of books/zines), and when people pick it up I may comment as inoffensively as possible that it’s a companion book to Driftwood (but I have to be careful because comics readers are very easily intimidated!).

Of course, it’s such a beautiful book that I really can’t blame people for wanting to look at it. V^(oo)^V

It’s “only” 212 pages, but filled to the brim with lots of fascinating facts about Driftwood and how it was created, as well as tons of illustrations, sketches and short stories, many never published before anywhere.

You can order the books from Amazon with the fastest shipping:
DriftwoodFlotsam and Jetsam

Or directly from me if you want to boycott Amazon (I might sneak in something extra or decorate the envelope with a piggy sticker or two):
DriftwoodFlotsam and Jetsam

If you want to inspect them in person first, you can already buy them at the comics library Renate.

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P.S. The tablecloth is the fabric “japanese snacks!” by emuattacks, and by the lamp is a lovely piggy postcard by Ayumi Yoshikawa that I randomly found at Renate. V^(oo)^V

The test copies of Driftwood arrived from Lulu …

I’ve already decided to print most of the books with a “real” printer (and it’s those books that you will get if you pre-order now!), but I’ll make a print-on-demand edition, too, which might be good for readers in Oceania and the Americas, since Lulu Books has local printing facilities in the US, Europe and Australia.
With Lulu you can also get distribution through Amazon, so that they print and ship the books and you don’t have to do anything, and that’s another plus for my lazy self.

Lulu only makes standard sized books. I made test copies of “US Trade” (6×7 inch) books in paperback and hardcover, as well as “Crown Quarto” books (about the same format as Cerebus books). They all have shiny covers, which is a bit annoying, but there is no way to avoid it with Lulu.

The one that looks best/almost worthwile is the hardcover book. (Apologies for the crappy camera phone photos in this post …)

Also, the hardcover is the only edition of Driftwood so far where any printer has managed to center the spine. (On the Swedish edition and both of the two softcovers from Lulu, the spine is off center.) Congrats to the hardcover binders!!!!! V^(oo)^V ♥

As you can see above, the front cover is not positioned very well. That’s because Lulu’s “cover designer” is a bit frustrating, and only now that I have the actual books in front of me I can tell where the front and back cover designs need to be centered. For some reason they won’t tell you all the necessary measurements on the site. And the preview image is so small that you can’t really see anything …

Also, the covers are printed in pretty low resolution, and I’ll have to remove, or modify the colours of, some elements that have much too fine lines.

Anyway, the biggest problem is their 90g paper. It’s extremely thin and transparent:

The US Trade paperbacks are all printed on cream coloured paper, but that one is just as transparent. And perhaps Driftwood looks somehow crappier on this yellowish cream paper, maybe because of the colours of the cover.

What makes the hardcover worthwhile in spite of the crappy paper is that it’s a hardcover, so it looks nice and feels durable. It opens up easily enough so you can read the pages properly. (The spine is glued, though, not sewn.) Also, it doesn’t feel as disappointingly thin for a 400 page book as the softcovers. :op

Of course, Lulu seems to be notoriously careless at handling the books, and some scratches and bumped corners are almost mandatory.

The Cerebus sized softcover is by all means nice because it’s the same format as Cerebus because it’s a bigger format, and its more square dimensions fit the format of the comic better. But it’s “only” 4.29 € less expensive to make than the hardcover (12.55 vs. 16.84 € for one copy – of course, that’s all quite a lot compared to non-POD printers X_x), while the softcover makes it feel a bit cheap, and the spine creases easily.

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P.S. I’m printing most of the books with Pozkal in Poland. They do digital printing for small editions (like my 100-300 copies), custom format, some choice in paper, with quite affordable prices. But if you only ever need a dozen or so copies for yourself, and want to sell your books mainly online, Lulu might be a better option (as long as you’re okay with their paper). Among POD services they are not bad at all. (I personally just have pretty high demands because I work with comics publishing companies and I’m a perfectionist …)